Are You In A Codependent Relationship? Here Are The Warning Signs You Need To Look For!
Are you the partner who compromises and sacrifices the most for your partner’s happiness? Or are you the one in the relationship who is codependent on your partner for approval and acceptance of your self-worth?
According to couples therapists and psychologists, codependent relationships depict an unhealthy relationship with clinginess and where one partner doesn’t have self-sufficiency. Either one or both partners depend on each other for their psychological and emotional needs.
In a codependent relationship, one partner is the caretaker whereas the other is the taker. Codependency, in a relationship, is not limited to a romantic relationship. It can occur in a family dynamic too.
In this blog, I’ll help you recognize the signs of a codependent relationship that you need to watch out for. But before we begin with the signs of a codependent relationship, let’s take a quick look at what is a codependent relationship.
What Is A Codependent Relationship And How Can It Affect You?
Codependency is when you are dependent on your partner, a parent(s), sibling(s), or a friend for approval of your self-worth and self-identity. In some extreme cases, a person may also use subtle manipulation to get other’s love and attention for themselves.
If you’re the “taker” in the relationship, you may exhibit signs like:
- Being needy
- Feeling emotionally unfulfilled
- Having a sense of entitlement
- Comparing yourself to others
If you’re the “caretaker” in the relationship, then you may exhibit signs like:
- Being a perfectionist
- Needing to be needed
- Compromising or sacrificing all the time
- Being busy all the time
Codependency can be a result of not getting enough emotional validation or love from others at a young age. Couples, however, become codependent because either of the partners is unable to identify their self-worth without the other’s approval.
Here are some warning signs of a codependent relationship that you need to look out for:
10 Signs Of A Codependent Relationship
1. People Pleasing Is Normal
It’s okay to want others to like you but there’s a difference when it comes to wanting others to like you and being people-pleasing. In a codependent relationship, you normally engage in people-pleasing behavior and feel like you have no choice but to please them even if it comes at the cost of ignoring your needs.
2. There Is A Lack Of Boundaries
You are often afraid to say “no” to your partner. There may be several reasons but one of the major reasons is the fear of rejection. You feel like their love is conditional and depends on your compliance. Hence, you are afraid to state boundaries. Keep in mind, having boundaries in a relationship is a sign of a healthy relationship.
3. Low Self-Esteem Is Also Common
Normally, in a codependent relationship, neither of the partners has high self-esteem. One of you needs to be needed by the other or need the approval of the other. The other needs to depend on someone for their emotional or material needs. This all can cause low self-esteem and confidence in the overall relationship dynamic.
4. The Need To Be A Caretaker
Another sign of a codependent relationship is that you feel like you need to care for your partner all the time. You fear that if you don’t cater to your partner’s need, they may leave you, or something equally bad will happen. You feel the need to be needed by your partner, even if your partner is capable enough to take care of themselves.
5. There Is Poor Communication
Communication in a relationship is important but in a codependent relationship, there is poor communication. One, you (or your partner) are unaware of your needs and even if you are, you’re afraid to put them forward in case you upset your partner. Two, your partner (or you) may be dishonest and more interested in asserting control than communication.
6. There Is Constant Stress
When there is poor communication, lack of boundaries, and constant anxiety, then this can create a lot of stress. You may often worry about what the other may or may not need and vice versa. None of you, in this relationship, are either particularly happy or fight but are constantly under stress.
7. You Constantly Worry About Them Leaving You
If your love feels conditional and if you’re constantly worried about your partner leaving or abandoning you, then it’s another sign of a codependent relationship. If they leave for a short time, you feel intense anxiety that they won’t come back to you.
8. You Feel Stuck In The Relationship
You often feel trapped and stuck in the relationship. Your romantic life feels stagnant and you don’t know where your relationship is going. You feel as if you’re settling in the relationship with probably the wrong partner.
9. You Are Often Ignorant Of Your Needs
When someone asks you how you are feeling, you don’t always know how to answer. Why? You are attuned to your partner’s needs and wants but you tend to ignore yours, resulting in you being unaware of how you feel.
10. You Avoid Being Alone
If you’re in a codependent relationship, then you have this innate need to be with your partner, always. You hate the feeling of being alone and get very anxious if you’re left alone for a longer period. You may also feel adrift without your partner, thinking you’re not yourself without them.
You’re In A Codependent Relationship, Now What?
If you can identify with the above signs, then don’t worry! Here are some tips to help you shift your unhealthy interactions into healthy interactions:
- The first thing is to set healthy boundaries and spend time with yourself as much as you prefer to do with your partner.
- Another important thing is to talk to your partner about your emotional and psychological needs and relationship goals that satisfy both your needs.
- It’s also important to spend time with your friends and family other than your partner. Try to keep in touch with your loved ones too.
More important than anything is to love yourself and accept yourself first.
If you’re struggling with being in a codependent relationship, then it is recommended that you seek professional help. Couples therapy can help you and your partner turn an unhealthy, codependent relationship into a healthy one.
Being in a codependent relationship can take away your autonomy and your sense of self. It can make you unhealthily depend on your partner to seek approval of your self-worth which can be unhealthy for your overall health and development.
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